I started to pack up this morning for moving myself and Lilac away from Stow, Ohio near the Cuyahoga Valley National Park and onto our next location near Tionesta, PA. Then it occurred to me that I may be quite remote there. Without cell service or good cell service, how will I let you know about all the exciting things about to happen?
Before my last post went out I heard from a couple people asking where I was at and how I was doing. I want to share with you some pictures from my great time with Cindy and Regis Hampton here. And I want to tell you about... well, other exciting stuff happening.
First, my time here with Regis and Cindy near the National Park has been wonderful. I just love these folks! We feel like family, the kind that can argue around the dinner table with respect and that can sit in silence with each other and not feel the need to talk or entertain.
If you don't know Cindy and Regis they are people persons. They used to own a friendly little bike shop where bikers liked to go just hang out. After we semi-retired and moved to Florida, George went to work helping out in the shop. He loved it, assembling trikes and talking up trikes and recumbents all day.
Regis and Cindy are retired now. About once a year they try to volunteer at a campsite. They are super great at talking with just about anyone with curiosity and respect. They are still turning strangers into friends.
When I told Cindy about my short bike ride in a neat neighborhood in Cleveland, she asked if by any chance it was Shaker Heights.
She and Regis had visited this area before and knew exactly what I was talking about when I mentioned the big homes and shady boulevards.
We stopped to check out Brandywine Falls.
I had kept my laundry in a bag that flopped on the floor. I found the perfect size bin (black and teal in the picture below) for my dirty laundry.
In the evening we gathered around a fire that Regis made and talked about our plans for the next day. We would drive to Peninsula, Ohio (in the Cuyahoga Valley) and ride the Towpath down stream and then use the historic train to haul us and our bikes back up stream.
But later Cindy discovered the train runs from Wednesday through Sunday. Our ride day was Tuesday. A change of plans.
We rode upstream and visited the farmers market near Hunts Farm. As I anticipated, Regis and Cindy were thrilled with it. We decided to return on our way back and pick up some more groceries.
The trail goes over a beaver pond with some bare dead trees. Perfect for birding. We enjoyed this spot and could have spent all day waiting for the next bird to identify.
We stopped again at the Farmers market and I got blueberries and eggs.
The day before when I stopped at the farmers market there were two bees on the barn. As I was leaving a man in a lift bucket was trying to lift the third bee up. It was quite heavy.
Back at Peninsula, Cindy had picked out the Winking Lizard for lunch. It was very good! I got a veggie wrap and one of the side options was steamed broccoli. Five stars, I highly recommend.
Another really cool thing... I was up on Facebook and our bike friend Rick from the Waukesha, WI area posted an interesting post. I have not seen Rick since we sold the business in 2014, but I see him occasionally on Facebook. He posted that his friend in Pennsylvania just published a book on the Allegheny Gap Trail. This is the trail that I plan to ride with my tent and gear starting September 22nd this year.
He had pictures of some of the illustrations. I shared his post on the Great Allegheny Passage / C&O Canal Enthusiasts group page on Facebook. I asked if anyone had gotten the book and what they thought. Well, of course the author of the book is on that page! Bill Metzger wrote, "My thoughts are: buy the book. You'll have fun and learn stuff."
Then I got a message from Rick. He wanted to introduce me to Bill and his wife Pam. He thought we would really enjoy each other and maybe get to ride the gap together.
I am excited about that possibility too. Bill's book is beautifully illustrated, he is not only an railroad enthusiast but an artist and cartographer. So his maps of the trail are lovely. I couldn't resist, I bought the book and had it sent to General Delivery to Tionesta, PA. That is where I hope to pick up my mail today. I sure hope it arrives before I leave that area.
Next time I travel long like this I will have to hire a neighbor to pick up my mail and send me pictures of anything important. Because it seems I have not been getting my mail forwarded very well through the P.O. I sure hope I didn't get a jury summons or something else important that I will be in trouble for not responding.
Ok, one more exciting thing... or two.
Ann and Fred Abeles will be meeting me and Jean Hawks and Keith May at the Allegheny River Trail tomorrow to ride! Finally we meet up, they have been traveling some of the same areas as I have been only a few days difference. So I am glad we can meet up.
Did I tell you also that I got a message from Will Byers of a trike riding group from Polk City, FL. I have ridden with them in the Everglades at least once. He is having another moonlight ride this November, but I have decided that I really need to be home to get my house ready to rent out and to settle myself. But I am meeting up with his group on the coast of Georgia. I will be riding with them on Jekyll Island at the end of October.
Marie is part of that group and will be there! She is the woman who was supposed to travel in her motor home with me on the first part of this year's journey all the way up to Iowa. She had to cancel because of health issues, but they are resolved now, YAY! And we will get to ride together in Georgia. She is concerned about COVID though, two of her close neighbors have or had it recently.
The vaccines really help people stay out of the ICU and stay alive if they get it. The thing is, they can still get it and spread it. So we vaccinated folks still want to be careful.
UPDATE! Regis and Cindy just stopped by to say goodbye for now. They are heading out before me. They told me it looks like the eye of Ida the hurrican, now storm, is heading right for where I am going. They said it would be best if I stayed here one more night.
I have looked a bit at youtube for news of the Ida devistation, then I have decided that there is nothing I can do about that or the fires out West. So I am putting my fingers in my ears, closing my eyes, and singing, "la la la."
That had been my plan. I still have the night reserved. But what about meeting up with Ann? I will call her. She will know what is happening and whether we will be able to ride tomorrow.
I will write to you again when I get to a place with cell service or WIFI and I have time between moving, biking, and happy hour conversations.